The Alvin Show

The Alvin Show is an American animated television series that aired on CBS in the early 1960s. It is the first series to feature the singing characters Alvin and the Chipmunks. The Alvin Show aired for two seasons in prime time from October 4, 1961, to September 12, 1962 [1] and was originally sponsored by General Foods through its Jell-O gelatin and Post Cereal brands. Although the series was created in color, it was initially telecast in black and white. It was later rebroadcast in color from 1962-64 for Saturday mornings on CBS and aired again Saturday mornings in 1979. [2]

The Alvin Show
The Alvin Show Title Card.JPG
Title card from The Alvin Show.
GenreComedy
Musical
Sitcom
Created byRoss Bagdasarian Sr.
Based on
Alvin and the Chipmunks
by
  • Ross Bagdasarian Sr.
Written byRoss Bagdasarian Sr.
Jack Cosgriff
Al Bertino
Tedd Pierce
Bill Danch
Chris Jenkyns
Jan Strejan
Dale Hale
Directed byOsmond Evans
Rudy Larriva
Alan Zaslove
Gil Turner
Hal Ambro
Jack Kinney
Voices of
Theme music composer
ComposersRoss Bagdasarian Sr.
Johnny Mann
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producerHerbert Klynn
ProducerRoss Bagdasarian Sr.
Running time30 minutes per episode (7½ per segment)
Production companies
DistributorCBS Films
Release
Original networkCBS
Picture formatColor (originally telecast in Black-and-white)
Original releaseOctober 4, 1961 (1961-10-04) –
September 12, 1962 (1962-09-12)
Chronology
Followed by

The series rode the momentum of creator Ross Bagdasarian Sr.'s original hit musical gimmick and developed the singing Chipmunk trio as rambunctious kids–particularly the show's namesake star–whose mischief contrasted to his tall, brainy brother Simon and his chubby, gluttonous brother Theodore, as well as their long-suffering, perpetually put-upon manager-father figure, David Seville.[3] The animation was produced by Herbert Klynn's Format Films. The pilot episode, an early version of the fifth episode "Good Neighbor",[4] was written and produced to sell the show to CBS.[5] The actual show featured a re-worked version, which aired as part of the fifth episode.

The show was followed in 1983 by another Chipmunks series, Alvin and the Chipmunks.

CharactersEdit

  • The Chipmunks: The title characters of the series
    • Alvin: The talented troublemaker of the group.
    • Simon: The intelligent realist and the most responsible of the group.
    • Theodore: The cute, funny and innocent member of the group who often giggles and likes to eat a lot.
  • David (Dave) "Davis" Seville: The Chipmunks' adoptive father, songwriter and manager. Dave's patience is tested nearly every day by Alvin, reducing him to his famous yell of "ALVIN!!!" But despite that, he loves all of his boys equally.

Clyde CrashcupEdit

Aside from the seven-minute Chipmunk segments, in which David Seville was portrayed as a hapless bachelor who managed and mentored the three singing rodents, the show also had segments featuring a character named Clyde Crashcup (voiced by Shepard Menken impersonating Richard Haydn's Edwin Carp character), a scientist/inventor. Each segment was introduced by Alvin, who was told by Dave that he was introducing a great inventor and was dumbfounded or dumbstruck when he heard it was Clyde Crashcup; Alvin was never a fan of Clyde Crashcup, as during the show intro montage he gives him a cold, dirty look whenever he appears.

Clyde's "inventions" were really items that had already been invented, but with his own personal touches. His "creations" often backfired on him until his silent, level-headed assistant, Leonardo, who was diminutive, balding and perpetually whispering in Clyde Crashcup's ears, saved him from any further self-destruction.

CommercialsEdit

As was the case for many television series of the day, the Chipmunks appeared in commercials for their respective sponsors aired during the run of the series. In addition, there were two sponsor plugs shot with the characters.

On weeks where Jell-O sponsored the program, Alvin, Theodore, and Simon (in that order) would sing the product's jingle and reveal the letters in the word. Alvin would then annoy Dave by trying to upstage his brothers, then would hold up the O to complete the sign while shouting "O-kay!" When Post Cereals was the sponsor on a given week, Dave would offer a description of the product and the Chipmunks would respond by performing a jingle.

As for the ads themselves, there were several different ones created for Jell-O, with the theme being "What's For Dessert?":

  • In one, Dave wants to perform a little "dinner music" with the Chipmunks and leads them in singing the "What's For Dessert?" song. Alvin, however, keeps trying to get his hands on the Jell-O, which by the end of the commercial he succeeds in doing much to the annoyance of Simon and Theodore.
  • In another, Dave extols all the positive things about Jell-O while the Chipmunks perform various actions to reinforce the points. The commercial ends with the boys devouring the Jell-O much to Dave's chagrin.
  • In still another, all three Chipmunks are experimenting different ways to make food items with Jell-O. Simon tops black cherry Jell-O with ice cream while Theodore puts marshmallows in grape Jell-O. Alvin, meanwhile, sticks a hot dog in some orange-pineapple Jell-O and Dave suggests he come up with a better idea. Seconds later, Simon presents that idea...Jell-O, with Alvin in it.

Two commercials were created for Post Cereals, both focusing on Alpha-Bits and featuring the Chipmunks telling the story of Red Riding Hood. Alvin plays the role of the wolf while Simon and Theodore take on the role of delivering cereal to their grandmother like Red Riding Hood. Both commercials are the same except that one features a longer jingle and also promotes Post's Treat-Pak line of cereals.Link to all five commercials

Later on, after The Alvin Show was cancelled, the Chipmunks appeared in a commercial for Soaky bubble bath soap with the product's mascot, the Soaky Kid. This commercial premiered in 1965 and promoted the Chipmunks as the latest in a continuing line of cartoon characters licensed by Colgate-Palmolive for the product; each bottle of Soaky was also intended to be used as a bath toy for children once empty.

A colorized public service advertisement from the United States Forest Service was made by the same animation team in 1964. In the sixty second ad, Dave and the Chipmunks are recording a fire safety message at the behest of Smokey Bear. Despite Alvin's troublemaking, the boys do manage to offer useful tips to prevent forest fires.

SyndicationEdit

CBS reran the series on Saturday mornings for a few years after the show's prime time run ended in 1965.

In the mid- and late 1960s, the individual show segments were culled together and sold as a syndication package under the title Alvin and the Chipmunks. The original episodes began airing under the Alvin and the Chipmunks title on NBC Saturday mornings in 1979 for a shorter period.

Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., died of a heart attack on January 16, 1972, seemingly bringing to an end any further Chipmunk productions. Years later, his son, Ross Jr., picked up on a disc jockey's joke and produced the album Chipmunk Punk in 1980. The success of Chipmunk Punk spurred renewed interest in a new animated series by Ruby-Spears, which launched in September 1983 on NBC and was titled Alvin and the Chipmunks, with Ross, Jr. taking over for his father as the voices of Alvin, Simon, and Dave Seville. His wife, Janice Karman, voiced Theodore, as well as The Chipettes, who are the Chipmunks' female counterparts. The show ran until 1988 when a reboot of the show took place on the same network by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson and later taken over by DIC Entertainment. At the time, the Ruby-Spears episodes were later picked up on mostly FOX and a few independent stations in the same year until as late as early 1994. To coincide with the new series, Viacom Enterprises distributed reruns of The Alvin Show to local (mostly independent and future FOX) stations; the rerun package was also carried nationally over superstations WGN and WTBS at various times beginning in September 1983 and ran for mostly a few years on half of the markets. However, some stations continue to run the show at various times as late as 1993. Prior to its superstation runs, The Alvin Show can be picked up in a few markets such as New York, Cleveland, and even in Australia and Brazil in the early 1970s. The show made its way to Europe in the United Kingdom when the BBC (now BBC One) began broadcasting the program as well.

In 1981, Clyde Crashcup made an appearance during a dream sequence in A Chipmunk Christmas. During recent network airings of the special, the sequence has been cut out, due to network time constraints concerning commercial ad time.

In 1990, The Alvin Show versions of the Chipmunks and Clyde Crashcup reappeared in an episode of The Chipmunks Go To the Movies titled "Back to Our Future" (a spoof of the 1985 movie, Back to the Future).

A majority of the songs and clips from The Alvin Show were featured in the Alvin and the Chipmunks Sing Along Songs VHS releases that were released in the mid-1990s. The songs, however, were slightly remixed to sound more modern. The only song that kept its original broadcast soundtrack was "Alvin's Orchestra" in the 1993 Sing Along video Ragtime Cowboy Joe. The Bagdasarian closing logo from the show was also remixed in the 1994 Sing Along video, Working on the Railroad.

Nickelodeon picked up US broadcast rights to The Alvin Show on March 7, 1994, after the last of a few independent stations pulled the show. The network aired digitally restored versions of each episode as it originally was broadcast (save for the omissions of one song from each episode, due to the necessary commercial timing, commercial plugs and Alvin's addition of his name to the closing), adding its logo to the opening. The show aired on weekday mornings for approximately a year.

During this time, as well as for sometime after the full episodes stopped airing, the individual Chipmunk and Clyde Crashcup cartoons and musical segments were inserted into episodes of Weinerville. In 1996, Nickelodeon stopped showing The Alvin Show segments altogether and no television station has aired them since then.

Voice castEdit

EpisodesEdit

26 episodes each were produced for the Alvin and the Chipmunks and Clyde Crashcup segments, along with 52 musical segments.

Season 1 (1961)Edit

# The Chipmunks Musical Segment 1 Clyde Crashcup Musical Segment 2 Original air date
1 Stanley the Eagle Oh Gondaliero Invents Baseball I Wish I Could Speak French October 4, 1961 (1961-10-04)
2 Sam Valiant, Private Nose August Dear Invents the Bathtub Alvin's Orchestra October 11, 1961 (1961-10-11)
3 Squares Swanee River Invents the Wife The Magic Mountain October 18, 1961 (1961-10-18)
4 Ostrich The Brave Chipmunks Invents the Baby Yankee Doodle October 25, 1961 (1961-10-25)
5 Good Neighbor The Little Dog Invents Electricity Old MacDonald Cha Cha Cha November 1, 1961 (1961-11-01)
6 Fancy Japanese Banana Invents Music When Johnny Comes Marching Home November 8, 1961 (1961-11-08)
7 Alvin’s Alter Ego The Pidgin English Hula Invents the West Chipmunk Fun November 15, 1961 (1961-11-15)
8 Sam Valiant, Real Estate Working on the Railroad Invents the Stove Stuck in Arabia November 22, 1961 (1961-11-22)
9 Camping Trip Good Morning Song Invents Jokes I Wish I Had a Horse November 29, 1961 (1961-11-29)
10 Overworked Alvin Witch Doctor Invents Flight The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) December 6, 1961 (1961-12-06)
11 Dude Ranch Home on the Range Invents First Aid Alvin for President December 13, 1961 (1961-12-13)
12 Jungle Rhythm Lily of Laguna Invents Egypt Row, Row, Row Your Boat December 20, 1961 (1961-12-20)
13 Bentley Van Rolls Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Invents Self-Preservation Comin' Thru the Rye December 27, 1961 (1961-12-27)

Season 2 (1962)Edit

# The Chipmunks Musical Segment 1 Clyde Crashcup Musical Segment 2 Original air date
14 Good Manners Bicycle Built for Two Invents Physical Fitness Ragtime Cowboy Joe January 3, 1962 (1962-01-03)
15 Little League Buffalo Gals Invents the Chair While Strolling in the Park One Day January 10, 1962 (1962-01-10)
16 Hillbilly Son Spain Invents the Bed Pop Goes the Weasel January 17, 1962 (1962-01-17)
17 Alvin’s Cruise Alvin's Harmonica Invents the Telephone If You Love Me (Alouette) January 24, 1962 (1962-01-24)
18 Lovesick Dave Coming 'Round the Mountain Invents the Time Machine The Three Blind-Folded Mice January 31, 1962 (1962-01-31)
19 Eagle In Love Sing a Goofy Song Invents Do it Yourself Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star February 7, 1962 (1962-02-07)
20 Theodore’s Dog Clementine Invents the Shoe Maria from Madrid February 14, 1962 (1962-02-14)
21 Haunted House Whistle While You Work Invents Glass My Wild Irish Rose February 21, 1962 (1962-02-21)
22 Alvin's Studio Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair This is Your Life, Clyde Crashcup! The Band Played On February 28, 1962 (1962-02-28)
23 The Whistler The Alvin Twist Invents the Boat The Man on the Flying Trapeze March 7, 1962 (1962-03-07)
24 Sir Alvin Git Along, Little Dogies Invents Crashcupland Down in the Valley March 14, 1962 (1962-03-14)
25 Disc Jockey Funiculì, Funiculà Invents Birthdays Polly Wolly Doodle March 21, 1962 (1962-03-21)
26 Eagle Music On Top of Old Smoky Invents Self-Defense America the Beautiful March 28, 1962 (1962-03-28)

General Foods was the show's main sponsor; as such, Dave Seville and The Chipmunks appeared in several humorous half-minute commercials for Jell-O and Post Cereals.

CreditsEdit

  • "The Alvin Show" · © 1961 Bagdasarian Film Corp. All Rights Reserved
  • Produced by Format Films, Inc.
  • Executive Producer: Herbert Klynn
  • Producers: Jules Engel, Jack Kinney
  • Associate Producer: Leo Salkin
  • Art Director: Jules Engel
  • Production Executive: Bud Getzler
  • Direction: Osmond Evans, Rudy Larriva, Alan Zaslove, Gil Turner, Hal Ambro, Jack Kinney
  • Story: Leo Salkin, Cal Howard, Bob Kurtz, Ed Nofziger, Dale Hale, Jan Strejan, Al Bertino, Jack Cosgriff, Bill Danch, Chris Jenkyns, Dick Kinney, Tedd Pierce, Jim Rivind, Carol Beers, Eddie Rehberg, Ken Hultgren, Rosemary O'Connor, Jack Miller, Milt Schaffer, Ralph Wright, Joe Grant, Walter Schmidt, Harvey Toombs, Noel Tucker, Joseph Stewart, Raymond Jacobs, Jack Kinney, Tom Hix, Nick George, Osmond Evans, Dennis Fraser, Warren Bennett, Tony Benedict, Ruben Apodaca, Jerry Nevius, Wesley Bennett, Joe Siracusa, Cliff Millsap
  • Animation: Ed Friedman, Bob Goe, Fred Grable, Chuck Harriton, Leroy Cross, Chuck Downs, Frank Braxton, Ken Hultgren, Hal Ambro, Fred Wolf, Stan Wilkins, Amby Paliwoda, Ruth Kissane, Ruben Apodaca, Doris Collins, Jim Fletcher, Roy Abel, Hank Smith, William Luckey, Harvey Toombs, Volus Jones, Eddie Rehberg, Abe Levitow, Eric Cleworth, Bill Keil, Murray McClellan, Phil Duncan, Hugh Fraser, Rudy Larriva, Alan Zaslove, Osmond Evans, Gil Turner
  • Assistant Animation: Don Selders, Ric Gonzales
  • Production Design: Sam Weiss, Vern Jorgensen, Ernie Nordli, Dale Barnhart, Cullen Houghtaling, Raymond Jacobs, Ray Aragon
  • Layout: Ken Hultgren, Vern Jorgensen, Robert Givens, Raymond Jacobs, Eddie Rehberg, Bruce Bushman, Jerry Nevius, Noel Tucker
  • Background: Rosemary O'Connor, Bob McIntosh, Boris Gorelick, Ervin Kaplan, Jules Engel, Vern Jorgensen, Connie Matthews, Peggy Morrow, Raymond Jacobs, Noel Tucker
  • Supervising Editor: Joe Siracusa
  • Editors: Joe Siracusa, Roger Donley, Cliff Millsap
  • Voices: Ross Bagdasarian, Shepard Menken, June Foray, Bill Lee, Johnny Mann, Lee Patrick, Don Messick, Joe Besser, Mel Blanc, Paul Frees, Tim Matheson
  • Musical Direction and Arrangements: Johnny Mann
  • Music by: Ross Bagdasarian, Charles E. King, Ken Lowman
  • Production Manager: Ray Thursby
  • Production Associate: Nick Draklich
  • Final Colorist: Richard Garibaldi
  • Title Design: Herbert Klynn
  • Ink and Paint: Vera McKinney
  • Checking: Paul Marron, Pat Helmuth, Moley McColley, Christine Decker, Evelyn Sherwood, Rollie Greenwood, Grace McCurdy, Ruth Tompson, Jane Philippi, Buf Nerbovig, Barbara Ruiz
  • Camera: Jack Eckes, Dick Blundell, Bill Kotler, Jack Buehre
  • Sound Engineers: Marne Fallis, Ted Keep
  • Sound: Ryder Sound Service
  • Recording: Glen Glenn Sound
  • This Picture Made Under the Jurisdiction of IATSE-IA Affiliated with A.F.L.
  • A Presentation of Bagdasarian Film Corporation

Home mediaEdit

Other than the two VHS releases from Buena Vista Home Video, both of which featured 11 songs from The Alvin Show, up until recently, the show has never been released on DVD. However, on September 8, 2009, Paramount Home Entertainment released the first episode of the show, along with two "modern" specials. A future "Complete Series" DVD set of the series has not been planned. In 2014, "The Brave Chipmunks" musical sequence was released as a bonus feature on The Chipmunk Adventure Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. In 2015, three complete episodes (#01, #04, and #10) were released together as The Alvin Show on Blu-ray and DVD.[6]

International broadcastEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 24. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981. Scarecrow Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 75–78. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ Tiscareno, Andrea (January 17, 2019). "Good Neighbor (Episode 5, Pilot)". KimCartoon.
  5. ^ http://animationresources.org/story-alvin-show-pilot-board/
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit